Cam Cameron: Firing Was 'Brilliant Move'
Think what you want about Cam Cameron, but the interview with the New York Times about his dismissal from the Baltimore Ravens shows the kind of man he is.
Cameron spoke for the first time since he was fired on Dec. 10, and he's doing just fine.
He understands why the Ravens fired him, and even supports the move.
"It was a brilliant move," Cameron said Wednesday at his home outside Baltimore. "Everyone on the team took a look in the mirror after that."
Cameron arrived at the team's facility at 4 a.m. the day he was let go. He could sense something brewing from the look in decision-makers' eyes and their body language, he said. Head Coach John Harbaugh invited him into his office and the two had a short conversation ending with a hug.
Cameron wished Harbaugh luck before leaving. And he didn't crawl in a hole after that. Cameron was at his son Danny's basketball game that night to the shock of the patrons around him.
"People were numb because they think you should run and hide," he said. "They think you're embarrassed. I've got nothing to be embarrassed about."
When Cameron was dismissed, the team was 9-4 and averaging 344.4 yards of offense. Under new Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell, the Ravens have averaged 406.2 yards, including 424.7 yards per game in the playoffs.
Cameron feels the improvement is because the move put everybody on alert, something the players said themselves in the days afterwards.
"We were inconsistent, and if I'm in charge, I'm saying: 'Why are we inconsistent? We need to get the team's attention."
So what's Cam up to these days?
He's been driving his three youngest children to school. He went to the gym with his wife, Missy. He golfed, fished and took a bowhunting trip to Ohio with his son, Chris.
He roots for the Ravens and watched their divisional playoff win over Denver from an Irish pub in New York after catching a couple Broadway shows.
"You can't do anything but root for those guys," Cameron said.
Cameron interviewed for the New York Jets' offensive coordinator position but didn't get the job. But he says he plans to coach in the NFL next season somewhere.
Ray Rice Stock Dropping?
We all know Joe Flacco's stock is flying off the charts right now.
But I was surprised to see Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com (an extension of ESPN) list running back Ray Rice among those whose stock is dropping.
I'm surprised because Rice is a back-to-back Pro Bowler who is considered by many to be the workhorse of the Ravens offense.
"Isn't it weird that the Ravens are in the Super Bowl and their star running back — the guy around whom they built the offense — hasn't had a loud postseason?" Barnwell wrote.
Rice's cumulative postseason stats are 64 carries, 247 rushing yards (3.9 yard average) and four catches for 69 yards. He has two touchdowns, including an impressive 1-yarder against the Patriots. But he has as many fumbles (two) as total touchdowns.
"Bernard Pierce has looked much livelier than Rice when he's had the ball," Barnwell wrote. "Baltimore was cutting down Rice's reps during the regular season presumably so he could be a workhorse in the playoffs, but outside of a couple jukes on screen passes, Rice has been a very ordinary back during Baltimore's title chase this year."
By comparison, Pierce has rushed 27 times for 169 yards (6.3 yard average) and caught one pass for eight yards. He doesn't have a touchdown in the playoffs.
Tom Brady Fine A 'Symbolic Gesture'
News broke last night that the league fined Patriots quarterback Tom Brady $10,000 for his slide into the knee of safety Ed Reed.
While Hensley was surprised, he also put the move in perspective.
"The amount of the fine essentially makes this more of a symbolic gesture," he wrote. "Brady's wife, Gisele, makes $10,000 for an hour of runway work (I wish I was making this up), so Brady will pay this fine with pocket change."
By comparison, 49ers running back Frank Gore was fined $10,500 for wearing his socks too low in the NFC championship. Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was fined $10,000 last year for calling his wife on the sideline to let her know he was okay after taking a hit to the head.
"Still, this is significant because no one really expected the NFL to fine Brady," Hensley said.
And why's that? Because, as Hensley said, Brady is the quarterback the NFL made the rules to protect (Tuck Rule, Brady Rule).
"So, this is a win for defensive players, albeit a small victory," Hensley said. "This was the league's way of showing defensive players that everyone can be disciplined."
Poll: Why Are Ravens In Super Bowl?
The Ravens are in the Super Bowl after four major events, writes The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.
1) Replacing Cameron with Caldwell as offensive coordinator
2) Ray Lewis telling teammates he will retire
3) New offensive line formation unveiled
4) Ravens put AFC championship game in Flacco's hands at halftime
ESPN's Jamison Hensley added one other reason: the resurgent defense.
The national network blogger also attached a poll, asking fans to vote for the biggest reason why the Ravens are in Super Bowl XLVII.
Their answer: Joe Flacco.
With 45 percent of the vote, Flacco was the overwhelming choice. Good to see that Flacco not only is getting the credit he deserves from the media, but also the fans.
- The Ravens didn't practice yesterday while the San Francisco 49ers did. Here’s the injury report, with estimations by Baltimore. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo plans to champion same-sex marriage at the Super Bowl. He emailed people asking for help on spreading the message at 3:40 a.m. the morning after beating the Patriots. Ayanbadejo also received a tweet from Ellen DeGeneres about his efforts, and he posted a photo of the tweet on his Instagram account. [New York Times]
- Rice has never forgotten his roots since becoming an NFL star. [New York Post]
- I know my boss will like this. She always wants writers to be accountable for their (often terrible) predictions. Here's Matt Vensel giving five things he was wrong and right about this season. [The Baltimore Sun]
- 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is filing to trademark his biceps-flexing, arm-kissing pose. He's filed the term "Kaepernicking" to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Is the "Joe Face" next? [NFL.com]
- Speaking of trademarks, the NFL is pressuring a man to abandon his quest to trademark “Harbowl” because it's too similar to Super Bowl. The man tried to settle the matter by asking for a couple Colts season tickets and an autographed photo of league commissioner Roger Goodell. [ESPN.com]
- Top non-Harbaugh names to know. [FOX Sports]
- The Ravens have scored a touchdown on each of their last eight trips to the red zone. [CSNBaltimore.com]
- The AFC championship game set TV ratings records in the Washington, D.C. market – evidence that a lot of southern neighbors are interested in the Ravens. [The Washington Post]
- Look out for the Harbaugh brothers Friday night on Nick Jr. Their cartoon characters are part of NFL RUSH ZONE: Season of the Guardians.